The Dallas Cowboys have long been sufferers of the "same old story" dilemma. A hype-filled offseason evolves into a championship-hopeful regular season after a few solid wins.
And then, an early exit from the playoffs. This narrative could rewrite itself with a Cowboys appearance in the conference championship game, but the team has failed to reach that point since winning it all in 1995.
Dak Prescott wants this year to be different than the rest. And it starts with one simple, yet effective goal headed into the second stint of OTAs this Wednesday.
Michael Gallup & CeeDee Lamb
CeeDee Lamb & Dak Prescott
The improvement lies in the attention to detail, something Prescott said Wednesday he wants to see when it comes to his footwork in the pocket.
“For me, my details are footwork in the sense of just being consistent late in the year," Prescott said. "I’m just trying to be dialed in."
While Prescott's improvement with footwork won't directly produce playoff wins, it's a solid start considering how the Cowboys' season ended in January.
Prescott would probably like to have back his performance in the 23-17 Wild Card loss to the San Francisco 49ers. It was more than just a lack of footwork that resulted in a disappointing stat line of 23-43 passing for just 254 yards with one touchdown and one pick.
Even on his only touchdown pass at the end of the first half to now ex-Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper, Prescott leaned a bit on his back foot in what still resulted in a beautiful throw to the back right corner of the end zone. Even when finding success despite having footwork that's far from perfect, it's encouraging that Prescott isn't settling.
Tony Pollard & Dak Prescott
Tony Pollard & Ezekiel Elliott
But the last play Dallas fans remember from that game is one they'd certainly like to forget. It came down to the lack of attention to detail, even if most fans feel more comfortable directing the blame toward the refs.
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On the game's final play, Prescott took the snap and ran a draw up the middle for 17 yards, but was unable to spike the ball after getting back on his feet with :06 remaining. Umpire Ramon George rushed to the line of scrimmage to get the ball set in time for the snap, nearly knocking Prescott and center Tyler Biadasz over in the process.
The desperate attempt to stop the clock with a spike could've worked, and the Cowboys still would have had just one play to complete a 24-yard throw in the end zone. A chance is still better than nothing, but it's hard to use the craziness at the end as the primary reason for Dallas' demise.
But could small attention to detail this offseason prevent a loss that came on a minor margin of error? The Cowboys won't find out until deep into next season, but the process continues as OTAs tread on next week and with the start of mandatory minicamp on June 14.
You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @szzevenn
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